One of the definite advantages to both Ruth & me from travel is unforgettable experiences that we wish to repeat but probably won’t. Of the 5 following memories, we have only been able to repeat the first 2, but they all yielded some of the best sights we have ever seen. They are among our best evers.
Circular Quay is Sydney’s tourism magnet. From it you can see the harbor, perhaps the best one in the world, Luna Park, an Amusement Park across the harbor in Lavender Bay on the other side of the Sydney Bridge lovingly called The Old Coat Hanger, the familiar opera house, and all the boats that scamper about and connect Sydneysiders to their harbor. The best view of all of this is from a restaurant on the top floor of Sydney’s old Customs House. Because this has always been its main harbor, the historic buildings around it have been often updated and now contain tourist favorites. Cafe Sydney on the top level of the Customs House, which is floor #5, is our favorite place to dine in this city mainly because of the view. Tripadvisor gives it 4.5 out of 5. I’d give it at least 5 out of 5. It’s expensive and a tough reservation but well worth it. Ask for a harbor view table outside and you won’t be disappointed. The food is superb too. It has somehow survived total closure during the pandemic. Pause on the 1st floor on your way up to Cafe Sydney via the elevator to see its in-floor diorama of Sydney and the well used library on both sides if it.
Ruth & I love Las Vegas’ art deco entertainment complex called The Smith Center. It offers great outside views of downtown Vegas, and is beginning to reopen after a long closure. How the pandemic and theater seating will be affected by available but scarce vaccines is yet to be known, but we both hope to experience The Smith Center again soon. Everything in it is in the art deco style of long ago and beautifully realized for 21st century tastes. Just seeing the lobby is a considerable thrill.
Kauai is our favorite Hawaiian island to repeat when easy travel becomes possible again. Most of this island’s tourist action is in its northeast quadrant. It’s west coast, the fantastic Na Pali, has no roads. The only way to see its cliffs and grandeur is by boat or plane. The best thing you can do is to drive up to the Waimea Canyon State Park, but its views of this coast are quite limited. One time we popped for a helicopter look and were not disappointed. It remains one of my must memorable trip experiences and one that we surely won’t do a 2nd time. The pilot took us up and over the canyon for spectacular views of it.
One time Ruth & I took a bus from Helsinki to Savonlina, Finland, and we went to see an opera or 2 in a dilapidated ruin of a castle. This is now an irreplaceable memory. This area’s lakes and attractions, its natural pleasures in summer, its proximity to Russia, and its overall uniqueness made it worth doing. #5 of our best travel experiences has to be the snow clad and totally majestic mountains in British Columbia’s Okanagan region and the area to the east of it. I long to return to Mount Revelstoke, the towns of Nelson and Fernie, and the city of Kelona.